Right hand man to ‘Godfather of Oldham’ fled 4,000 miles to escape justice after terrifying eBay attacks

The ‘right hand man’ of a ‘manipulative’ criminal known as the ‘Godfather of Oldham’ has been jailed for his part in terrifying armed robberies committed against unsuspecting car buyers. Innocent members of the public looking for a good deal were attacked after responding to fake adverts placed on eBay by an Oldham based crime gang.

Gang leader Mohammed Fareed, 47, dubbed the ‘Godfather of Oldham’, ran the appalling scheme with the help of his son Faisal Farid, 25. Police reported a total of 14 robberies or attempted robberies committed by the gang between September 2019 and February 2020.

Victims travelled from around the UK to Manchester with thousands of pounds in cash, after seeing high value cars from manufacturers including Mercedes, Porsche, Audi and BMW, at cut rate prices. The cheap price would be explained by a quick sale being needed to pay for a divorce, or due to an illness in the family.

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The gang demanded payment in cash before luring their victims. In some robberies, victims were attacked with hammers and machetes, while others had a gun pointed at them.

In one particularly terrifying incident, a mother was with her two-year-old child when armed men tried get in their taxi and rob them of £15,000 after she’d travelled from Scotland to buy a car. They were able to escape as the taxi sped off.

Another victim was met by three masked men in Clayton and hit with a hammer, after travelling from Belfast with £16,000 to buy a car. During another incident in Oldham, a machete wielding robber shouted ‘I’m going to chop you up into pieces’, before £11,000 was stolen.

Last year Mohammed Fareed and Faisal Farid were both found guilty of being part of a conspiracy to rob, and jailed for 20 years and 12 years respectively. Fareed, a convicted drug dealer, had previously posed for a picture with a BMW which had a personalised plate which read ‘evil yob’, while a girlfriend told how she felt ‘protected by the Godfather of Oldham’.

Mohammed Fareed posing with a BMW with the number plate EVII YOB
(Image: GMP)

Imran Ali, 43, described by prosecutors as Mohammed Fareed’s ‘right hand man’, fled to Pakistan before their trial. He was arrested at Manchester Airport on his return to the UK in April. Now he been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Ali’s DNA was found on a BMW used in one incident, prosecutor Michael Lavery said, while his voice was identified on calls recorded by potential victims.

Defending, Alasdair Campbell said Ali had been ‘taken in’ by Fareed. After Ali had got divorced and began to take drugs, Fareed helped him with food and accommodation and gave him drugs, the court was told.

Mr Campbell said Ali was expected to work for him in return. He said Ali fled to Pakistan to ‘get away’ from Fareed because he felt ‘scared’ and ‘threatened’ by him, and came back knowing he was now in jail.

“It was at that point in time he believed he would be safe from his tentacles,” Mr Campbell said, adding that Ali had since become clean from drugs. Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Dean KC said Ali played an important role in the gang.

Mohammed Fareed and Faisal Farid
(Image: GMP)

He told Ali: “In 2019 and into 2020 you were involved in a conspiracy to rob, that conspiracy involved Mohammed Fareed at the top of the pyramid of defendants. But you were in my judgement first lieutenant to Mohammed Fareed, playing an important organising part in the robberies and attempted robberies that occurred.

“Mohammed Fareed is a manipulative man, a more sophisticated criminal than you. But you were not in my judgement in thrall to Mohammed Fareed.

“You fled this country in February 2020, not in my judgement to escape Mohammed Fareed, but initially at least to escape arrest and imprisonment.” Ali, of Waterloo Street, Oldham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob, and must serve two-thirds of his sentence in prison.

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Manchester Evening News – Oldham